Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro review: buy along with your heart, not your head

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro

MSRP $449.00

“Buy the Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro for its longer battery life and opulent materials, not its area of interest GPS features. But remember the conventional Galaxy Watch 5 is just pretty much as good and costs less.”


  • Luxury materials
  • Super sharp screen
  • 3-day battery life
  • Comprehensive health tracking
  • D Buckle strap is superb


  • Area of interest additional features
  • Barely slow performance after waking up
  • Notifications don’t at all times wake the screen

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is the largest and most costly Samsung smartwatch you may buy this 12 months. It’s justified (by Samsung, not less than) by its luxurious materials and overall toughness, together with an enormous battery and a seriously comprehensive sensor array to trace your activity and health. The thing is, the non-Pro Galaxy Watch 5 does most of what the Pro version does, only for less money. Is it price forking out for it?

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: design

If you happen to imagine what Samsung tells you, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a smartwatch for outdoorsy people, made for those with rough-and-tumble lifestyles who’re at all times bashing their wristwear against a rock. It’s definitely going to be hardwearing because it’s constructed from titanium, has thick sapphire crystal over the screen, 50 meters’ water resistance, a raised bezel to guard the sapphire and screen, and it comes with a thick rubber strap.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro showing a colorful watch face.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Nonetheless, it’s not suitable for diving, the case buttons aren’t there to make navigation easier when wearing gloves, there’s no super prolonged battery mode for a protracted weekend within the wilderness, and — aside from one small feature — the activity tracking is strictly the identical on the cheaper Galaxy Watch 5. It connects to Samsung Health, which is an adequate piece of fitness software, but it surely’s aimed squarely at regular people — not athletes, mountaineers, or adventurers. This isn’t a competitor to a Garmin, Polar, or Suunto sports smartwatch. It’s a complicated version of the Galaxy Watch 5.

What makes it posh? It’s constructed from titanium, but unlike titanium on a luxury mechanical watch, it’s not especially recognizable as such, with a smooth, satin finish somewhat than a brushed or textured finish. The case back doesn’t appear to be constructed from titanium either, and it seems like plastic across the sensor array, meaning you don’t get the advantage of titanium’s skin-friendly properties. I’ve found the Watch 5 Pro gets quite sweaty on my wrist.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro's profile on a wrist.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Does the 45mm case make it too big? It’s all relative, but I don’t think it is best to get worked up over the diameter. It’s near-as-makes-no-difference similar to the 44mm Galaxy Watch 5 for a start, and the small, integrated lugs minimize the impact of the big case. I feel it looks normal on my 6.5-inch wrist. It’s obviously not a minimalist dress watch, but it surely’s no larger than a Casio G-Shock MTG-B2000 and isn’t that much different from my 43mm Tag Heuer Formula 1 either.

As a substitute, it’s the thickness and weight that’s more of a difficulty, because the slab-sided shape does nothing to cover the smartwatch’s 10.5mm tallness in your wrist. In total, the Watch 5 Pro weighs 75 grams, and I’ve at all times been aware of it on my wrist. The mix of its tall profile and relative heaviness means it has been really uncomfortable to wear at night, and I’ve given up every time I’ve tried to trace my sleep. For some context, an Apple Watch Series 7 with a Braided Sport Loop strap is 50 grams and is perfectly comfortable overnight.

The back of the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro on a mans wrist.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

I’m wearing the Watch 5 Pro with Samsung’s latest D-Buckle Sport Band, which is superb. It will probably be adjusted for size without tools and is secured with a magnet. It’s comfortable, convenient, hasn’t come loose, and appears really great. Nonetheless, the scale of the magnetic clasp means it could get caught on things, one other downside for the adventurous. If it’s not fit for you, there are ample options to select from for other Galaxy Watch 5 watch bands.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a little bit of a design oddity. It’s clearly not likely an adventure smartwatch, but it surely’s not especially luxurious either. It looks great when viewed face-on and the strap’s all-in-one design is an actual winner, giving the watch a contemporary, cohesive, individual look. Viewed from the side, it looks slightly awkward next to the curvier and trendy Galaxy Watch 5. And while it shares materials with a luxury smartwatch, it might’t compete with the wonderful Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4 for looks and sheer enjoyment when wearing it.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Route Workout and Track Back

There are two feature benefits to the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro over the Galaxy Watch 5: Route Workout and Track Back. Route Workout is a solution to follow pre-determined routes when mountaineering or cycling, and requires you to import special .GPX files via your phone. Select the feature on the watch, import the GPX, and the watch will show the route. Nonetheless, it’s a “fixed” view, so you’ve gotten to be ready at the proper spot to start out your hike or cycle as you may’t scroll across the map to determine where you’re, but I just like the turn-by-turn navigation and easy vibration alerts to maintain you on the right track.

The main screen for the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro's Route Workout feature.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro's Route Workout map view.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Activating the Track back feature on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It’s a very area of interest feature. If you happen to’re a part of a bunch where GPX files are often created and shared, the feature works thoroughly and may very well be fun. But when you’re not, you should have to go searching for files online. Not only are GPX files not quite common, but they require specialist software to create them in the primary place. The Route Workout feature also only supports mountaineering and cycling. This also applies to the Track Back feature, which is able to robotically lead you back to your place to begin.

Neither are features someone who sticks to established paths will ever use, and those that wish to explore more but aren’t a part of a bunch that already uses GPX files can be higher to try an app like ViewRanger, MapMyWalk, or OS Maps. Samsung promotes the GPX Route Workout and Track Back as features that make the Watch 5 Pro pro, yet they’re more area of interest and restrictive than we’d expected.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: health and activity tracking

On the back of the smartwatch is similar 3-in-1 BioActive Sensor found on the Galaxy Watch 5, which measures heart rate and blood oxygen levels, takes an electrocardiogram, and can record body composition too. The Watch 5 Pro may even measure blood pressure, but to try this you want to live somewhere the feature is accessible (it’s not available within the U.S.), calibrate it with a cuff-based blood pressure monitor, and repeat that calibration every month. It’s not something for casual users and is probably going best explored by those that have been advisable to watch blood pressure. Skin temperature monitoring will likely be possible, however the feature just isn’t available yet.

Recording body composition — muscle, fat mass, body fat, body water, BMR, and BMI — out of your wrist could be very cool, as before it was something more normally found on an upmarket set of smart scales, or complicated machinery in a physician’s office. Nonetheless, when you get the outcomes and are shown in the event that they’re good or bad, there’s nothing to clarify change them. That’s acceptable for things like BMI because it’s a widely understood metric, but not so for body water or skeletal muscle.

Tracking a walk showed the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro accurately and quickly acquires a GPS signal and the map is clearly plotted afterward within the Samsung Health app. Heart rate and speed matched the info collected by the Apple Watch Series 7, but there was a slight discrepancy between total calories burned. There’s quite a lot of data to look at within the app, including VO2 Max, cadence, heart rate zones, elevation, and many more. While I’ve been using it to trace casual exercise, there’s good enough here for more committed sportspeople.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a improbable workout partner.

Auto-workouts, where the watch recognizes you’re out exercising could be very accurate, as is the auto-pause feature. So accurate in actual fact, it pauses when you wait to cross a busy road and restarts when you’re halfway across. Under the Fitness tab in Samsung Health, you’ll find a combination of subscription-based and free workout plans. They’re all broken down into sections (balance, weight reduction, endurance, mindfulness, and so forth) and are clearly marked for difficulty level. I attempted a number of out and while they’re a bit repetitive, they appear great on the Galaxy Z Fold 4’s big screen, and the display shows heart rate and calorie burn data out of your watch, which starts tracking the activity immediately with none prompting.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is suitable for sleep tracking. It’s just too heavy and ponderous. The lighter Galaxy Watch 5 is healthier, and you may see the way it performs in our review of that model. If I ever make it through a whole night without taking the Watch 5 Pro off since it’s annoying me, I’ll update here on its performance. If sleep tracking is admittedly necessary to you, consider the Oura Ring as an alternative.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is a improbable workout partner. It’s accurate, easy to make use of, pulls in masses of information, and the multiple sensors help offer you a comprehensive overview of your general health. Samsung Health is straightforward to navigate and use too. It’s highly advisable, but unless you already use .GPX files for hikes or cycling, it won’t provide any more functionality or insight than the regular Galaxy Watch 5.

Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: software and performance

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has Google’s WearOS 3.5 with Samsung’s One UI Watch 4.5 software onboard, all powered by the Exynos W920 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal cupboard space. There’s no physical rotating bezel just like the old Galaxy Watch 4 Classic, but you may run your finger across the periphery of the screen to somewhat replicate the experience. Otherwise, you swipe and tap the screen to maneuver through the menus and titles. The whole lot you see could be customized, including which Tiles are shown and in what order.

App screen on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Bixby is the default voice assistant and the microphone picks up my voice with out a problem, even outside with traffic noise around me. It will probably be switched to Google Assistant, but to accomplish that requires installation of the Assistant app and jumping through some hoops in Settings. When you’re within the Google Play Store, there are numerous other apps available for the Watch 5 Pro including Spotify, Nike Run Club, Komoot, Hole19, MyFitnessPal, Outlook, Strava, and plenty of more.

Samsung Pay known as up with a protracted press of the lower button on the case, and while Google Wallet could be installed, I can’t discover a solution to remap the identical button to make use of it as an alternative. You’re forced so as to add it to the highest button, where a brief press works as a back button, and a protracted press by default calls up Bixby. Special mention should go to the brand new keyboard that’s a part of OneUI Watch 4.5, as even after I optimistically stab away on the small screen it gets what I’m attempting to type.

Once the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro goes the performance is speedy, but it surely takes some time to get up. Swipe the screen to see Quick Settings or to access the app menu and it rarely recognizes the primary input, and it takes several tries before it actually does anything. It’s frustrating and is possibly to do with power management. I also find it very annoying when a notification arrives and the watch vibrates, but the data doesn’t show on the screen after I raise my wrist. It happens probably three out of 5 times.

Typing on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The smartwatch is fast enough, however the software needs polishing and also you’ll need to spend a while getting it to work the best way you wish. It’s definitely not as slick or effortlessly easy as WatchOS and the Apple Watch, and I haven’t really seen any performance upgrade over smartwatches with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 4100+ processor and WearOS 2, resembling the Tag Heuer Connected Calibre E4. It should be very interesting to see how smartwatches with the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 chip perform alongside it, and the way the Google Pixel Watch compares later this 12 months.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: screen and other features

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s screen is similar size and backbone because the 44mm Galaxy Watch 5. It’s very sharp and text looks improbable, plus the more colourful watch faces pop off the screen as a result of their high contrast, shiny colours, and deep blacks. It’s also easy to view in sunlight, and the auto-brightness feature has proven very effective.

Checking a notification on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

There are two settings for haptics, light and robust. Light is agreeable and noticeable, while the strong setting really makes itself known in your wrist. Dig into the settings on the watch and Samsung has included a wealth of accessibility options covering hearing and visibility enhancements, plus granular control over the screen’s sensitivity and responsiveness.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro has Bluetooth onboard ready to connect with wireless headphones, plus music could be transferred over out of your phone through the Galaxy Wearable app and played directly when you don’t wish to carry your phone on a run. It’s a quick transfer too, taking only a number of seconds per track to sync. I used the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro with the Watch 5 Pro, and it didn’t require additional setup since it pulled the data directly from my phone, which really simplified the method. It uses Bluetooth to connect with your phone and the range is average, across the expected 10 meters but no more, and there’s a vibration alert if it suddenly disconnects. I haven’t had any problems with connectivity.

The D Buckle strap on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro seen from the side with the Galaxy Buds2 Pro alongside.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

A bear watch face on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro showing a classic watch face.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Finally, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro doesn’t work with an iPhone, it requires an Android phone and the Galaxy Wearable and Samsung Health apps, plus when you’re using a non-Samsung phone, a special plugin too. It also seems the Route Back feature only works with a Samsung phone, as when connected to a OnePlus 10 Pro, GPX files wouldn’t transfer to it and only operated in Samsung Health itself. We’re confirming this with Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: battery life and charging

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro’s battery life is its standout feature and sets it aside from not only the Galaxy Watch 5 but from most other Android smartwatches that don’t make use of special screen technology or prolonged battery modes to make it past a few days. It should last you three working days with out a recharge, with a 30-minute activity tracked on every one, provided you don’t wear it overnight.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro's case back.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

As already discussed, the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro just isn’t the perfect smartwatch to trace sleep as a result of its size and weight, and while that’s a pain, it does help battery life. Track one 30-minute activity with GPS and expect the battery to drop by only about 5%, which provides you idea of how much energy the Watch 5 Pro’s 590mAh cell stores. Samsung estimates 80 hours of battery use, but you won’t get near that if, like me, you activate continuous heart rate and stress monitoring, and the always-on screen.

Three days of battery may not quite match smartwatches just like the Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 3 Ultra or the Casio G-Shock GSW-H1000, but it surely’s longer than the Galaxy Watch 5, other Wear OS 2 smartwatches, and the Apple Watch Series 7. Charging is more standard and it takes 20 minutes to get to about 40% from almost flat, reaches 65% after 40 minutes, and on to full in 90 minutes.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro: Price and availability

The Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 Pro costs $449 for the Wi-Fi version or $499 for the 4G LTE model or 429 British kilos for the Wi-Fi version within the U.K. and 469 kilos for the LTE model. It’s available now, and when you’re desirous about buying, do take a take a look at the trade-in discounts available as they will significantly reduce the initial cost. Spending more to get the 4G LTE model means you’ll give you the option to depart your phone at home more often and still get messages and calls, but it should cost extra in your monthly carrier bill.

Selecting the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is difficult

I’m really having fun with the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro. It looks great, I appreciate the upper quality materials (although I don’t think they make it an adventure smartwatch), and the sensor array and associated health tracking features are excellent. I consider the Apple Watch Series 7 the perfect smartwatch you may buy, however the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro comes a really close second. It’s absolutely that good.

The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro worn on a man's wrist.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Nonetheless, there isn’t a robust reason to purchase it over the Galaxy Watch 5, which is available in two sizes, is arguably more stylish, has almost equivalent features, is healthier suited to sleep tracking, and costs less. The one barely compelling reason to decide on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro is its longer battery life, but we’re only talking a day or so extra, not something more meaningful like every week.

If you happen to’re tempted as a result of the GPX file support and Track Back feature, just remember chances are you’ll need a Samsung phone for it to work. If you happen to are desirous about this, also have a look to see if a sports smartwatch just like the Polar Pacer Pro or Garmin Forerunner 955 has more functionality that suits your lifestyle, especially when you run, hike or cycle long distances often.

All of that is why I see the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro as a luxury version of the Galaxy Watch 5. You won’t be gaining much by buying it when it comes to features and functionality, and people with sensible heads will just buy the cheaper one and be very glad with it. Nonetheless, the titanium case, thicker sapphire, and minimalist design will tempt those that want something only a bit more special, and I don’t have any hesitation in recommending it — provided you understand the cheaper Galaxy Watch 5 is just pretty much as good, if not a bit more versatile. It’s a heart-not-a-head decision to decide on the Galaxy Watch 5 Pro.

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